As a nine-time winner, Swiss triathlon star Ronnie Schildknecht is the undisputed king of Ironman Zurich. His feats extend far beyond his home city too, having finished 4th at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in 2008.
How did you start running? I always loved to run. Even when I was a young hockey player I used to run a lot.
Why do you run now? During a run my mind gets clear and afterwards I feel energized again. It’s such a satisfying feeling. It will be always a part of my lifestyle.
What has been the most important race you’ve run to date and why? That is Ironman Switzerland. So many good memories. When I won the first time it was a dream come true. To win it nine times in a row is just unbelievable.
What is your pre-race ritual? I like to listen to music before the race.
What do you think about while running? Mostly nothing, I just run and enjoy the moment, but sometimes I solve problems and get my head straight.
What is your go-to training meal? Espresso and a protein bar.
What song is your go to for the run? I don’t run with music as I like to enjoy the nature.
Who is your “team”? My team consists of many people but my coach is Lubos Bilek.
What is your passion next to endurance sports? I like to play tennis and ice hockey.
Who would you be if you weren’t a professional athlete? Maybe an insurance broker?
What does no one tell you about being a professional athlete? You are your own company and that involves a lot of work and know-how in addition to training and racing.
What was the best piece of running advice you ever received? Hold your form, always.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? Believe in yourself, set your goal and get after it with no regrets. All in.
Why On? First of all I am Swiss, but On has always improved their shoes. They constantly innovate. The Cloudflow, for example, is an amazing shoe. Very reactive but still with enough cushioning. After a lot of testing I can honestly say they bring the best performance out of me.
What’s your favorite On item? The Cloud X for racing and the Cloudsurfer for my long runs.